Hi friends —
My experience with HPPD started about 4 1/2 years ago, with a single dose of MDMA.
For me, my symptoms are: anxiety/panic, DP/DR, visual snow, flashing solid colors, some tinnitus, and seeing movement in geometric patterns.
Also: I used to always be a “crier” and someone who feels their emotions very deeply. During the first few weeks of HPPD, I cried so much, some times out of misery, some times out of gratitude to still be alive, some times because I heard some beautiful music and felt connected to it. But then after a few weeks my emotionality faded, which I assume must have been a psychological coping mechanism. I was so overwhelmed with anxiety that I had to shut down emotionally to stay sane. So no more tears or feelings of meaningful connection. I still want to feel those cry-feels so bad!.
Over the next two years I got better at managing my symptoms, but saw little to no improvement in them. I was still smoking weed often (my bad) & still couldn’t really FEEL, and my anxiety was off the charts 24/7. It was absolute hell every waking day.
A little over two years ago I started on 10mg Celexa, and the improvement I saw in my anxiety levels was life changing. Not gone completely, but I started feeling significantly better and my anxiety attacks became fewer and farther between. Worked my way up to 20mg, which is my current dose.
A few months ago I finally found a neuro who is actually familiar with HPPD, who added Lamictal, ramping up VERY slowly (I only got up to 37.5mg/day). In the first month (2 weeks on 12.5, 2 weeks on 25) I started to notice my visual symptoms clearing up slightly and my brain feeling a bit clearer. It was actually the best I had felt since before HPPD and I was excited to continue ramping up on the lamictal, hoping it might help get me to a place where I can really feel emotions aside from anxiety again.
After that first month though, things started to get unpleasant again. Bouts of anxiety attacks, some good days, some very bad. It felt like I had been consistently alright for a while, but now my worst symptoms are pushing their way back in. I also developed minor muscle twitches every few minutes, which was completely new. I was prescribed Klonopin after a particularly bad anxiety attack and now I take 0.25mg when I feel myself getting panicky. I don’t like it, but it does keep me from panic. I quit smoking weed then (a few months ago), but that hasn’t helped.
My hopeful suspicion is that perhaps I’m experiencing SSRI “poop out” with my Celexa, and could therefore ideally switch SSRIs and continue with lamictal. My neuro says the only way to know that for sure is to come back off the lamictal and see how it feels to just be on the Celexa again. Back down to 25 from 37.5 lamictal and feeling a bit worse actually, but my neuro says I need to get down to zero and wait two months to see what the deal really is. I’d much rather keep my lamictal dosage as is, and try switching to a different SSRI, as that just feels more “right” to me - but she’s the professional so ...
If it turns out that I’m actually not tolerating lamictal well, I am interested in looking into sinemet... it seems to have been a wonder drug for some people here, but I would be very worried about developing dyskinesia, as I work in a field where that could ruin my career.
No targeted questions here really, just looking to share relevant experiences/advice with other HPPD’ers. ❤️
PS: for anyone doing the ol’ downward mental spiral in these forums and feeling hopeless (like I used to), things WILL get better. I’m still having struggles but I’m not in hell like I used to be, and life is very worth living for me right now! I have my bachelors and masters degrees, a solid career at 25, wonderful friendships, and going by objective criteria, am a fully functional human being. You will be okay! Keep advocating for yourself!
Ive been accidently dosed like 8 tabs of liquid acid, and stupidly continued "tripping," even after that. So I started noticing a static over my vision, and I thought nothing of it at first. It has gotten much worse, and I haven't taken L.S.D in over a month. It especially gets worse if I'm smoking weed, it literally makes me have acid like visuals. Even without weed I get, tracers, halos around light, I get the pattern formation that forms when you take L, everything looks like it's shifting and melting, my anxiety has gotten progressively worse, I get visual snow, and I have pain behind my eyes sometimes, like a pressure almost, I have really bad after images, pretty much on anything bright, or lit up. Today for example I was driving, and looked at a stop sign when I looked down I saw the stop sign in my vision with my eyes open or closed. Does it ever get better, and is does it mean your brain is ruined?
I did mescaline two or three times when I was 16 years old but never again.
No visuals or anything like that, I just had a great times laughing and hanging out with friends without feeling sleepy.
Recently I tried DMT but no breakthroughs or visuals, everything just got really strange and beautiful.
Below you will find some interesting things that happend to me while NOT taking any drugs which lead me to want to try DMT at this point in my life.
Strange episode #1
At the age of 17 I was playing tempest at the Pizzeria, a game I was never really good at, in fact, I was never really good at any video game, but suddenly I was the best Tempest player ever.
People piled into the Pizzeria and gathered around me because no one had ever been able to play as long as I did. Everyone was excited for me and talking about it.
What I saw as I played the game was that I could easily see some sort of pattern and that the game was no longer a challenge, I had 3 lives, and I saw clearly that I could play forever.
I became convinced that it must have been a bug in the game software because it was just too easy, so I asked one of the kids I knew to be a very good player to take over. As I walked away I heard three explosions. He did not last a minute. So it was real. I felt very strange and I looked into a mirror on the wall and I noticed my pupils were gigantic and my ears were red.
As I sat down I noticed something else, I felt as I had this increased understanding of everyone around me and a feeling of love for everyone.
It was like some sort of enlightenment that allowed me to see how people felt inside.
I stayed there for hours and strangers seemed to be drawn to me and it was so easy to talk to everyone.
I went home and the next day I was back to my old self, shitty at video games and just a regular kid.
Strange episode #2
At the age of 20 I was laying down at around 1 in the afternoon when I noticed what looked like crop circles in 3-D, no colors, on my wall, as if bulging out of the wall.
They started appearing and changing slowly and then picked up an incredible amount of speed, thousands of shapes.
They disappeared, and then I saw sheep, deer, lamb, and other gentle animals laying next to me. They would appear and disappear all around me and I was not afraid.
After that, I saw flocks of tiny birds inches from my eyes, they looked the way birds look when they are really high in the sky, there was a fluidity in their motion, but they were right in front of me.
Next came spiders, coming down from the ceiling and now I was getting scared. I could not move for all this time until now, and I sat up and the spiders were still there for about 30 seconds and then disappeared.
Fast forward...I am 51 years old. Nothing like what I described ever happened again but I definitely had this feeling all my life that there was something within me that I had a glimpse of in the past and that I wanted to experience again. I have been reading about DMT for about 10 years now and I ordered some. I took a little bit but no break through and no visuals, I just noticed that things got a little strange. My friend took the same amount and although he smoked it with skepticism (fireworks in your mind he thought) he later told me there is another place he visits, the same place each time he smokes, he sees buildings and beings and he feels he is receiving information. He returns from these experiences telling me he has worried too much about meaningless crap all his life.
So now I purchased more DMT and a $350 mininail to make sure I do not burn the DMT, I am aiming to have an experience since up to now nothing has really happened for me. All this and today for the first time ever I hear of HPPD and now I am questioning if I should go forward with it as I am a concerned even though it is rare and seems to happen to people who use a lot of LSD and Shrooms.
Just hoping for some feedback from others. What did you take that caused HPPD? how much and how often before it affected you?
TL;DR I want to smoke DMT but I am afraid of HPPD. Has anyone here suffered from HPPD just by smoking DMT a few times and no other drugs?
----- This post is especially important for the Dutch guys out here on the forum -----
Recently I received a mail from Brijder Jeugd (rehab center) where they tell about a new upcoming research by a neurological department from a medical center about visual snow sufferers, and they're looking for people that want to participe in the research. This could be another opportunity to shred some light on the visual snow and HPPD. The research is targeted for Dutch people but I wouldn't hesitate contacting them in English if you're interested in the research. You can reach them by sending an e-mail to the address below:
If you're interested about the medical center, you can visit their website with the link below:
Leiden University Medical Center
Thanks for your time
Note: I'm not related to the LUMC in any way